Security for schools and universities

Educational institutions face a number of special challenges when they come to develop security solutions. The first is the potentially unruly nature of the people moving through the environment. It may not be a case of students stealing from their school (although this is, unfortunately, always an issue to consider) so much as a case of protecting against the inevitable youthful disregard for rules and regulations. The risk of vandalism is quite high and so is the risk of less malicious, careless property damage. Any fully integrated security setup must take account of both.

Universities, and to a lesser degree other educational organisations, also tend to have large quantities of valuable equipment on site. Computers are the most obvious example. A college computer lab may be harder to break into than an average suburban home- some kind of security solutions are almost always in place- but thieves may consider the risk worth it. Instead of one single computer as their prize, they may aim for a dozen or more.

Perhaps the biggest challenge faced by integrated security consultants working with educational institutions is access control. It may be necessary to allow students into their computer labs until quite late at night and staff may also need to move in and out of certain areas outside normal working hours, but the integrity of such blocks still needs to be maintained. One cannot simply lock all the doors at 6pm, set the alarms, and assume that all persons attempting to gain access before morning are doing so with unlawful intentions.

Students and staff moving through university grounds outside working hours also create challenges for those committed to maintaining safety. The entire campus needs to be considered, rather than each building in isolation. Potential safety blackspots need to be identified and managed before problems arise.

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